Season 4 of Call the Midwife starts at a gallop. Although a new midwife, Barbara Gilbert, arrives to fill some of the space left empty by the departures of Jenny, Chummy, and Cynthia, it is Trixie who takes center stage in this episode. She opens by cheerfully delivering a baby in a car (a first for Nonnatus House!) and goes on to take a keen interest in a mysterious young boy and his sisters, whom the audience eventually learns are suffering from abuse/neglect by their mother. This is a fresh topic for a show that often (of course) focuses on pregnant women and newborn babies, but it tugs at the heartstrings just as much as any previous storyline on the show. It also allows Trixie to open up more about her own troubled childhood and continue her development into a more nuanced character. She still has all the cheer and charm audiences have grown to love her for, but they are paired with clear fortitude and strength.
Trixie’s engagement at the end of the episode is moving, though certainly not the most moving part of a truly heart-wrenching hour. That is fitting for the show, however; it presents Trixie’s engagement as a joyous event in her life, but not the main event. The show does not aim for a surprise engagement/wedding to end the season, but rather builds the scene into the story arc. Audiences can hope for a dash of romance throughout the rest of the season, and possibly some fun as Trixie learns tot live with a clergyman.
What did you think of episode 1? Is Barbara going to be a great character? Or will Trixie continue to steal the show?